October 8, 2008

Brittany Cuisine

Then there were six...

Last Saturday was our final World Food Evening of eight. Two of the group are leaving us at the end of this month and moving to their new property up north in Brittany. (How dare they!)

We decided that the perfect food theme to get them ready would be un petit repas Breton.
The only catch...collectively we knew nothing about Breton cuisine.
Except that they drink cider. And eat a lot of seafood.

A crash course was necessary.

After many hours of exhausting research I came to the conclusion that, although there is a seemingly endless amount of information on the Internet, when it came to finding recipes from Brittany, my collection of French cookbooks proved invaluable.

The first course was a Salade Poul-Fetan, named for a small village in Brittany that is just down the road from their new home.

We followed with luscious Cider Braised Pork Chops with Cream and Mushrooms, a very rich Gratin de Pommes de Terre aux Lardons (Potato Gratin with Bacon) and sweet Honey Glazed Shallots.

It was one of our most delicious evenings yet!

I was a Spire Pear Cider fanatic when I lived in Seattle and was happy to taste the French version with our meal. It was lighter, not as sweet and not as fizzy, and I thought it was great with the creamy pork chops and potato and bacon gratin. The hard apple cider was equally good with our Breton feast.

The Far Breton, a heavy, custard dessert (almost like a Breton clafoutis) that is studded with Armagnac soaked prunes, was my contribution.
This is not a light dessert, and after the heavy meal we had just eaten it was probably a bit over the top. However...two of us had second helpings (I'm not naming names).

For our next meal (an Indian curry) the group will only be the six of us left behind here in the south. Maybe we'll find a new twosome to join us one day. Maybe not.

Or maybe we'll just keep those chairs open for when our friends come back for a visit.
Which we hope will be soon. Pin It


Giff said...

what a meal :) rich, but sounds delicious!

Susan said...

My husband and I just need that kind of excuse to come back to France. Can we sit at your table?
Your food looks so good. I am just waiting for computers to provide food smells to the typist.

Susan and Dale

wcs said...

Crêpes! Crêpes! What about the crêpes?

Loulou said...

It was heavenly! I couldn't eat like that every night though.
The potatoes and bacon was soooo good. Of course, how can you go wrong with potatoes and bacon?!

You are always welcome at our table, even if it is only a virtual one! One day there may be scratch and sniff computer imagery...why not?

I know, we're dorks, we forgot the crêpes! Guess we'll have to do another Brittany feast and make them. :)

Ksam said...

You should've asked me for some suggestions, I could've give you a ton! Though my top two would've likely been cider-braised pork chops and far aux pruneaux, so well done! :)

bricogirl said...

Well they'll need the extra calories in Bretagne! Brrrr. I don't find Far Breton to be heavy, it's actaully fairly low fat for a dessert. Great for breakfast the next morning too! Here's my version: Prune Cake Recipe. A bientot!

Betty C. said...

This looks delicious -- I'd love to have more time to explore different regional recipes.

PS: I don't think you really needed crêpes!

Loulou said...

Funny that you should say that because as we were eating I thought to myself that I should have asked you for recipe help! Duh!
The pork was really delicious. Great food up there in Brittany. I really hope to visit someday and if so, I'll ask for your advice about places to go.

Yes, they are currently investing in new coats, sweaters, etc. And we bought her a new pair of wellies as a good luck gift!

We eat crêpes at our friend's crêperie so often that making them didn't seem necessary.
We plan to explore other regions of France on future evenings. I'm interested in Alsace and Burgundy.

Paola said...

Great to read this! We've decided on Brittany this summer and I'm already doing my research!!


Loulou said...

I hope you have a great trip! It looks like a beautiful region. We hope to visit some day too.